Francis Ngannou is set to make another big payday, likely over $10 million, in his upcoming boxing match against former two-time unified champion Anthony Joshua.
According to a report from Sports Business Journal on January 6, Ngannou's manager, Marqual Martin, mentioned that "The Predator" will be earning "well over" $10 million for the fight. Ngannou had previously earned around $10 million for his "Battle of the Baddest" bout with Tyson Fury in October 2023, and his value in the boxing world is on the rise.
This became possible because of Saudi Arabia's recent efforts in sports. In 2023, Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) invested $31.5 billion in various areas, including the global sports market. The 'Riyadh Season' of sporting events was a significant step for Saudi Arabia to expand its global presence in entertainment.
“If we got anything out of Riyadh Season, it’s that demand is there, social acceptance is there,” said Faisal Bafarat, chief executive of the General Entertainment Authority. “Businessmen are coming and saying we want to invest.” (h/t Arabian Business)
The "Battle of the Baddest" had about 11,500 TV views and 56,000 streams on ESPN+ in the US, as reported by combat sports business analyst Dave Meltzer. These numbers are lower than any UFC Pay-Per-View (PPV) in history. Even though Las Vegas still seems to have higher numbers, Saudi Arabia's focus on the global market is more about getting noticed than making money.
Fans can anticipate more big matchups and even larger payments for athletes in the future.